Jim, a 65 year old man had been diagnosed for several years with prostate cancer which had spread to his bones. He had a large family and many friends and connections from his church community and the voluntary works he had pursued over years.
The call for information about the Dying at Home Program came very late as John was bed bound and dying. The family had been caring without support at home for weeks and most unfortunately the doctors had not told Jim and his family just how close to death he was. This was a weekend and the palliative care team in the area could not make an emergency visit to the home.
The family, to their great credit, grasped all the information that was offered, reading all the relevant sections of the Yellow and Blue books with great speed, dedicated to keeping their dying father at home.
The family had a Gathering within an hour of learning of the Program, sharing information from the Blue Book to understand the truth about their father’s imminent death, rosters were arranged at bedside with three family members on duty and three off, changing every two hours as this family were already becoming exhausted.. It took three family members to provide full care at any one time.
The family moved very fast. A priest was called to give the sacraments, and one son in law who was a musician played his guitar, gently strumming at the bedside, which helped settle Jim’s restlessness and groaning. The family managed to obtain
some morphine and he became calm.
Jim died comfortably in his wife’s arms; this within twelve hours from the initial contact with the Dying at Home Program.